Cell Biology Faculty and Research

John Abrams, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

John Abrams

The Abrams Lab examines molecular networks that regulate cell death and explores how chromatin topology controls gene activity.

Stained cell

Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D.Email

Gaudenz Danuser

We study how mechanical and chemical signals integrate in space and time to control cytoskeleton dynamics and membrane trafficking. We develop a minimally-perturbing experimental approach that exploits the intrinsic heterogeneity of cell dynamic states to probe the hierarchy and kinetics of mechanochemical signaling cascades.

Cell signalling diagram

Beatriz Fontoura, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Beatriz Fontoura

Our laboratory studies the cell biology of viral-host interactions. Our main focus is on the interplay between RNA viruses, such as influenza A and vesicular stomatitis viruses, and nuclear processes. We investigate interactions of virulence factors with RNA processing and nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking, which regulate viral replication and antiviral response.

Stained cell

Frederick Grinnell, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Frederick Grinnell

We use fibroblasts interacting with 3D collagen as a model of fibrous connective tissue to learn about cell behavior in a tissue-like environment. Our research focuses on motile and mechanical interactions between cells and matrix. We analyze these interactions at global and subcellular levels to understand the impact of cell-matrix tension state on cell morphology and mechanical behavior.

Photo of cells in matrix

Mike Henne, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Mike Henne

Our lab studies how cellular membranes are sculpted during processes like vesicle budding, organelle biogenesis, and the formation of inter-organelle membrane contact sites. We employ both budding yeast and mammalian cell systems to reveal molecular mechanisms of this membrane remodeling, and our main projects use combinations of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, and structural biology to deeply understand cellular sculpting events.

Lily (Jun-Shen) Huang, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Jun-Shen Huang

Our laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms governing cytokine receptor signal transduction in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, and understanding how deregulation in these mechanisms results in hematological malignancies and cancer.

Photo of cell growth

Qiu-Xing Jiang, Ph.D.Email • Lab Website

Qiu-Xing Jiang

We use cryoEM imaging and 3D reconstruction of individual molecules to study the mechanism of ion channels and signaling complexes. We are also developing new methods for cryoEM imaging of single particles and integral membrane proteins.

Diagram of ion channel behavior

Wen-Hong Li, Ph.D.Email • Lab Website

Wen-Hong Li

Our research is two-fold: We study mechanisms regulating hormone release in the islets of Langerhans and to develop techniques to monitor changes of islet beta cell mass or function in vivo. We also perform functional analysis of microRNAs by identifying their target genes in a defined biological context.

Islets of Langerhans

Lawrence Lum, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Lawrence Lum

The Lum Lab studies cellular communication systems that coordinate cell fate decision-making in metazoans, including Wnt and Hedgehog. We combine high-throughput experimental strategies in cultured cells with genetic, chemical, and biochemical approaches in vitro and in vivo to uncover actionable mechanisms supporting injury repair and cancerous growth.

Protein structure diagram

Peter Michaely, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Peter Michaely

Our lab studies the role of adaptor proteins on plasma membrane function in the context of endocytosis and cellular signaling.

Endocytosis diagram

Saikat Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Saikat Mukhopadhyay

Our lab studies why cells utilize primary cilia to organize signaling, and how extracellular inputs are spatio-temporally integrated by these compartments. Studying ciliary signaling also provides a more general paradigm for studying cellular sensory networks in regulating developmental pathways, and disease pathologies.

Stained cells

Sandra Schmid, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Sandra Schmid

We study the mechanisms that govern and regulate clathrin-mediated endocytosis using biochemistry, biophysics, molecular cell biology and quantitative live-cell fluorescence microscopy.

Endocytosis diagram

Joachim Seemann, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Joachim Seemann

We study the molecular mechanisms governing the function and inheritance of complex cellular organelles. In particular, we are investigating how the single Golgi apparatus is partitioned by the spindle machinery in mitosis as well as the regulatory role of the Golgi in organizing polarity during cell migration.

Stained cells

Jerry Shay, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Jerry Shay

The Shay/Wright Lab studies the role of telomere biology in aging and cancer, the molecular mechanism of telomere replication and telomerase action, and how to translate these into clinical applications.

Chromosomes with stained telomeres

William Snell, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

William Snell

The Snell Lab uses the green alga Chlamydomonas to study cilium-generated signaling and regulation of the protein composition of the ciliary/flagellar membrane and to study cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell-cell fusion.

Chromosomes with stained telomeres

Michael White, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Michael White

We study molecular mechanisms for controlling cell growth and differentiation. The broad goal of our research is to contribute to uncovering the molecular nature of cell autonomous regulatory mechanisms permitting appropriate responses of human cells to their environment.

Chromosomes with stained telomeres

Woodring "Woody" Wright, Ph.D.EmailLab Website

Woodring Wright

The Shay/Wright Lab studies the role of telomere biology in aging and cancer, the molecular mechanism of telomere replication and telomerase action, and how to translate these into clinical applications.

Telomere loop diagram